Rate this book

A Life In The Wild: George Schaller's Struggle To Save The Last Great Beasts (2008)

by Pamela S. Turner(Favorite Author)
4.48 of 5 Votes: 2
0374345783 (ISBN13: 9780374345785)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
review 1: Turner, Pamela S. (2008) A Life in the Wild: George Schaller's Struggle to Save the Last Great Beasts. Melanie Kroupa Books: New York, NY. Junior Book: InformationalBooklist Starred ReviewThis book highlights field zoologist George Schaller's work to observe and preserve some of the world's most endangered species. George was in many ways a pioneer in providing real, unbiased field research of animals previously deemed as savage beasts such as gorillas and tigers. Through his work, extensive conservation efforts have been established, and we now know more about the mysteries of these animals. He traveled and often lived in remote areas of the world tracking and learning about gorillas in the Congo, tigers in India, lions in the Serengeti, snow leopards in the Himalayas, pa... morendas in Tibet, and so much more. He often needed to know about all the animals inhabiting each area he researched because each species is so interdependent on others around them. For a long time, human interference has decreased these animals' populations but it was unclear how or why. Many people thought it was just a the natural course of nature for their numbers to be so small or that they needed to be hunted to keep the balance of predator/prey in check. Often times killing an endangered animal was justified by government because the animals would attack their domestic pets/livestock. But from his research he was able to provide undeniable evidence that people were the reason this was happening in the first place. From over farming and encroaching on wild lands, prey populations decreased which in turn left predators such as tigers and lions to face starvation. Poaching, whether intentional or not, was another factor for decreased populations. With his rigorous notes, fearless nature and persistence to the cause, George provides us (the reader) with an in depth understanding of each animal. It's amazing to see how similar these animals are to humans; they have such compassion for others and an investment in providing and teaching their young. I learned so much about these "common" zoo animals, for instance, gorillas are very non-confrontational and usually just throw vegetation or break sticks to express their anger. They mourn for their dead. And tigers are "family" animals. They nuzzle each other affectionately when they see each other and the young will not be allowed to leave until they can prove to their mother they are ready. While there were so wonderful, uplifting moments, there was also so much tragedy in this book. More than half of most endangered species do not reach maturity. The world is a very harsh place for them, and it's all because of human doing. This book is so great because besides giving kids an inside view into the daily lives of these animals, it really gives them a comprehensive idea of how the natural balance of the food chain works.
review 2: Because it records an extraordinary life, although the text is clear and highly detailed, not particularly lyrical or with apparent effort in addressing young readers, the book is a worthy read. Definitely for older readers and adults. The design of the book, with its small margins, frequent full page text, and small photo inserts, also indicates a "higher" reading level. Schaller's many achievements and experiences are truly remarkable. And there are plenty of moments in the book to move and touch the reader's heart, the accounts of the Gorilla mother's caring for her dead baby and Schaller's adoption of a tiger cub, for example. There are even quite a few humorous passages, such as this, on page 41: "Lions and hyenas often stole carcasses from each other, and hyenas stole from wild dogs. Both lions and hyenas stole from leopards, and everybody stole from cheetahs." less
Reviews (see all)
Super fantastic, brilliantly written book, well deserves the Golden Kite!
I read this book to Zane and I loved it. It was very inspiring.
it is stoped i wood like to get a diefent book im on pag 15
Great read on these wonderful great beasts
Write review
Review will shown on site after approval.
(Review will shown on site after approval)